School Lunches

ANACONDA-In Montana, school districts across the state are entering week two of no school and many districts like Anaconda are stepping up to help feed their students during these tough times.

Schools are closed in Anaconda which makes it tough for some families to feed their kids, but the school district is making it a little easier with sack lunches to go everyday during the week.

Cucumbers, chicken nuggets and milk are just a few of the items sixth grader Macie Zbojniewicz and her little brother Anthony received in their sack lunches, on Tuesday.

Macie says she is enjoying the time home with her family, and playing games with her little siblings. She adds she looks forward to the lunches and appreciates them, everyday.

Students, parents and even grandparents appreciate the extra support during these tough times. The shelves of grocery stores across the state are empty and grandparent and Anaconda resident Renae Adams says it's tough to keep the fridge full.

"What you guys are doing is very awesome, and is very appreciated and I'm personally very grateful," said Adams. She adds many people in Anaconda are struggling with being laid off.

Tuesday was day two of lunches to go in Anaconda and six buses were stationed across town to hand out meals to anyone under 18. School staff say many students rely on breakfast and lunch at school each day.

Staff add, the program ensures no students in Anaconda go hungry while school's are shutdown.

"The cooks more than anybody, they're so important in out district because they see the kids right from the start in the morning to feed them breakfast, so they're our first resource," said Principal of Fred Moodry, Tammy Hurley.

Head cook for the Anaconda School District Laurie Taylor says her first concern when she heard the schools were closing was the kids. Taylor says the superintendents office, the different schools and staff have all teamed up to implement this program.

Hurley adds with spring break last week, the district was able to plan and prepare the most effective food program for the community.

Taylor and Hurley agree its tough not seeing their students everyday. "Visiting with the kids is a huge part of my day, that’s why I'm here its all about the kids," said Taylor.

Taylor adds, because it's all about the kids, she doesn't mind getting to the school at 6 a.m. to fire up the ovens and prepare over 150 lunches to go each day.

Hurley says the school district plans to keep the program going five days a week as long as it's needed during the shutdown. "Next week we are looking at not only having the spots set up but sending a few of the buses out on regular routes so that we can catch more people that can't say for instance come to town and go to those spots," said Hurley.

Lunches are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Anaconda Head Start, Lincoln Primary School, WK Dwyer Elementary School, Mount Haggin Homes, Cedar Park Homes and Opportunity Beaverdam Park Pavillion.

Anyone 18 and under can come pick up a lunch at one of these locations.

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